We’d all love to have a garden that we can escape to so that we can enjoy the peace and quiet and natural beauty, but more often than not our gardens are visible to neighbours that live around us.
Enclosing your garden will help it become your own personal sanctuary and a well-planned garden will help you to get the most out of the space you have available, whilst retaining a sense of openness and nature. A garden shed could be a welcome addition, enabling you to store items, and therefore freeing up the rest of the garden for your visual and atmospheric pleasure.
Creating an Enclosure
Choosing the type of enclosure you want is perhaps the hardest part. Hedges, fences, berms, trees, pergolas, walls, plants or drapes are all great examples of ways to build privacy, but will depend on the style and location of your garden. You should try to ensure that whatever option you choose, it doesn’t upset the natural balance of your outside space.
A modern garden may suit a vertical set of plants, or a slatted screening which provides a clean look. A willow or hazel screening or an old-style wall may be more at home in a more traditional style garden.
Hedges or trees suit any type of garden, but you have to remember they require time to grow, thus being a more long-term option - you'd have to be patient!. Be mindful of the type of tree or hedge that you do plant – many neighbourly disputes are caused by light being blocked by fast-growing trees such as leylandii and there is now legislation to protect people affected by “nuisance” hedges.
If you have pets or children that play outside, you should carefully consider the type of hedging you plant as many of them can be poisonous. Wildlife will appreciate the additional places to live and shelter – and you may even be rewarded with seeing their young at certain times of the year. Our article How To Encourage Wildlife Into Your Garden provides more information.
If space allows, you could also consider a summerhouse, studio or pergola to add a focal element and provide a dedicated enclosure to relax in.
Sound, Sight and Atmosphere
These are the three main points to consider when designing for your enclosed garden; the sounds you hear, the things you see and how it makes you feel.
1 - Sounds
Noise pollution at some level is something that almost all of us will be subject to – passing traffic and neighbours (and their ability to hear you) is something you can reduce through creative use of garden features such as:
An ambient, constant trickle of water from a fountain or water feature is both relaxing and will mask a large proportion of background noise.
Hedges and Shrubs
These will absorb and deaden sound, reducing what you can hear and what your neighbours can hear from you.
Very effective at absorbing noise, these can be combined with hedges or trees to create a softer feature for the garden.
Unfortunately, there is no feature yet that will eliminate the sound of barking dogs!
2 - Sight
What you see when you’re in your garden is hugely important and changing even just the smallest things can make a difference. If there are aspects of your garden that you don’t like or can’t remove (lampposts, oil tanks etc), then disguising them with shrubs, trees or screening will soften their impact.
The aim is to attempt to get a completely enclosed garden, one that allows you to take in the beautiful space you’ve created in private.
3 - Atmosphere
The atmosphere of your garden is arguably the most crucial aspect and will determine how it makes you feel when in it. When you’re sitting in your garden you should feel at peace, relaxed and tranquil. If you are truly in a private setting that you enjoy, this will come naturally.
The Final Touches
Simple but effective features can help to make your garden that bit more special. A box hedge-lined path, leading to a secret getaway such as a garden room is a great addition to your peaceful space.
If you would like to talk to any of our team about creating a garden building to complement your surroundings, please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our team will be happy to talk through your requirements with you.